Requirements for effective biological monitoring of freshwater ecosystems
Technical Memorandum 43
Dostine PL, Humphrey CL and Faith DP
About the report
A comprehensive program of biological monitoring can provide assurance that management goals for water quality are being achieved. A monitoring program should include elements to provide both early detection of adverse effects, and assessment of impact in terms of ecological significance; it should aim to permit testing of hypotheses with statistical tests which have sufficient power to detect effects at some prescribed 'acceptable' level of impact. The key elements of a biological monitoring program in place to assess the effects of uranium mining in the Alligator Rivers Region in northern Australia are discussed - here the emphasis is on avoidance of detrimental change in unmodified aquatic ecosystems. Recommendations are made for a biological monitoring program for aquatic environments that have been substantially modified by agricultural practices - here the emphasis is on amelioration of existing impacts.